Summary: The Stupendous Switcheroo
What if you woke up to new powers every day? Such is the fate of our protagonist in this graphic novel-prose hybrid. Daily, he develops and loses everything from potent superpowers like telekinesis and super speed to cute but not-so-useful ones like bubbles and speaking cat. He’s even recruited by the city’s superhero to help fight the villains popping up everywhere. The one thing he can’t seem to figure out, though, is where his scientist mom is. As each day passes, readers follow Switcheroo one step closer to the mystery of his mom’s whereabouts and why there are so many villains around all of a sudden.
This book is such a fun ride. The protagonist is sweet and sensitive with a sense of humor I thoroughly enjoyed. The dialogue feels authentic, and I loved entering the high-science world with teleportation and robot babysitters. It feels almost cinematic, like the classic unwitting superhero cartoons (think Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls — I don’t know what the kids are watching these days, but those two are my gold standard).
Something else I also love is the book’s format. The graphic-prose hybrid is becoming more popular with books like Pie in the Sky and Link + Hud more recently. With illustrations on every page and graphic panels on nearly every other page, this book is bound to appeal to fans of graphic novels. This one has monochrome green and white illustrations (so, not full color) but is completely engaging nonetheless.
Finally, this book was more emotionally satisfying than I thought it would. I expected a wacky adventure, but this story has so much more heart than I anticipated—especially about judging people for how they look, a criterion that is often outside their control. I love it when writers can enfold emotional layers into what appears to only be a zany adventure on the surface.
- Death: None
- Alcohol/substance abuse: None
- Sexual content: None
- Violence: Some superhero battle scenes that are very low on the violence scale
- Ethnic: An ethnically diverse cast with some Black and white characters
- Sexual orientation: None mentioned
Recommended for ages: 8+
Good for kids who like:
“I liked this book because it had a good mix of paragraphs and graphics. I also like it because an ordinary kid gets superpowers, and I always wish I could have superpowers.”
Alex Greene, Age 8.5
|Publisher details||Knopf Books for Young Readers|
|Author:||Mary Winn Heider & Chad Sell|
|Publication date:||12 September 2023|
|Cover artists | Designer:||Chad Sell|
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